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Updating a Will

A Will is an important part of keeping estates and finances organised, so it is important that individuals keep it updated to reflect their current circumstances.

In the absence of a Will, the law dictates how an estate is managed.  The government will use the estate to pay any outstanding bills, and then distribute the remainder to family members using a formula. If the deceased has no living relatives, then all the assets are paid to the state government.

A Will is able to be updated at any time, and should be reviewed following any significant changes in an individual’s family, life or finances.

There are various reasons as to why an individual would need to update their Will. These can include:

-marriage or divorce

-commencement of a de-facto relationship

-birth or adoption of a child

-death of a family member or beneficiary

-substantial changes in the value of an estate

There are two options available when updating a Will. Individuals can choose to prepare and sign a new Will that revokes the old one, or prepare and sign a codicil. A codicil is a separate document that adds to, or replaces, one or more provisions in an existing Will.

The best option will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the individual’s situation.

Posted on 3 March '14 by , under Super.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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